A lot can change in six months.
Australian all-rounder Cameron Green celebrated his maiden international century at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium back in March, reaching triple figures in the final Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against India. The West Australian had become almost irreplaceable in the national set-up, also pocketing $3.15 million from the Indian Premier League Auction.
However, a few months later, Green finds himself out of Australia’s first-choice XI in all three formats following a worrying slump on the international stage.
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Since the start of this winter’s tour of England, the West Australian has averaged 17.46 with the bat across formats, failing to reach fifty in 15 knocks. In ODIs this year, Green’s strike rate has dipped to 66.87, a disappointing figure considering he has predominantly served as a middle-order slugger.
The 24-year-old has developed into a bit of a slow starter in the 50-over format, needing several overs at the crease before feeling confident to counter-attack; it’s a stark contrast to what teammates Glenn Maxwell and Josh Inglis have achieved over the past four weeks.
Green would arguably be better suited for the No. 4 spot, which would allow him the luxury of a few overs to find some rhythm, but the position is currently occupied by Marnus Labuschagne, his concussion substitute.
His bowling has also dipped in quality since the World Test Championship final against India; he averaged 34.46 with the ball in international cricket before June, but has since averaged 47.58.
Green would be battling fatigue after a relentless eight months on the road, which included the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, the IPL, the WTC final, the Ashes, a white-ball tour of South Africa, an ODI series in India, and then, of course, the World Cup.
He’s looked physically and mentally exhausted, which has unfortunately become the norm for three-format international all-rounders — it’s why England’s Ben Stokes retired from ODI cricket last year aged 29.
“I don’t think he’s been home for more than a couple of days really, which is just unbelievable,” former Australian batter Michael Hussey told Fox Cricket this week.
“He’s still a young man, still finding his way international cricket, so it’d be a big shock to the system.
“It’d be interesting to see where he’s at mentally. Is he pining just to get home and have a bit of a break from the game altogether, or is he still right up for the challenge and the battle?
“It seems like a glamorous life; you’re away on tour, playing cricket, staying in nice hotels and traveling around the world. It’s great, don’t get me wrong, it’s fantastic, but after a while, after doing it day in day out, week in week out, month to month out, it does wear you down.”
Of course, Green won’t get any time to rest and recover after the World Cup — he’ll return to Australia for another packed home summer, including domestic duties for Western Australia and Big Bash League commitments, before a Test tour of New Zealand , another IPL campaign and the T20 World Cup in the United States and West Indies.
It’s a seemingly never-ending cycle of hotel rooms and airport terminals.
“To be honest, it does wear you down, it takes you out mentally and physically after a while,” Hussey continued.
“I’ve certainly been in that position where sometimes you just need that circuit breaker, even if it’s just a few weeks away and then back home to sort of recharge the batteries.”
Cameron Green’s last 18 months
ODI series vs SL in Sri Lanka
Test series vs SL in Sri Lanka
ODI series vs ZIM in Australia
ODI series vs NZ in Australia
T20I series vs IND in India
T20I series vs ENG in Australia
T20I series vs WI in Australia
T20 World Cup in Australia
ODI series vs ENG in Australia
Frank Worrell Trophy vs WI in Australia
Test series vs RSA in Australia
Border-Gavaskar Trophy vs IND in India
ODI series vs IND in India
Indian Premier League in India
World Test Championship final vs IND in England
Ashes series vs ENG in England
ODI series vs RSA in South Africa
ODI series vs IND in India
World Cup warm-ups in India
World Cup in India
After starting his World Cup campaign with scores of 8 (20) and 8 (11) against India and the Netherlands respectively, Green was tasked with carrying the drinks for last week’s high-scoring contest against New Zealand in Dharamshala, omitted in favor of Labuschagne .
However, Maxwell’s concussion scare and Mitchell Marsh’s sudden departure have created a vacancy in the starting XI ahead of Saturday’s blockbuster match against England at Narendra Modi Stadium, the venue where Green scored his maiden international century.
Maxwell, who entered an eight-day concussion protocol after falling off a moving golf cart earlier this week, is expected to be available for next week’s World Cup match against Afghanistan at Wankhede Stadium.
Therefore, if selected for the England match, Green will probably only have one chance to convince national selectors he belongs in Australia’s first-choice ODI side. Otherwise, it could be Green’s last match in canary yellow for the foreseeable future.
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Hussey, one of Australia’s cricket’s most successful middle-order batters, encouraged Green to try and emulate fellow all-rounder Mitchell Marsh, who has benefited from adopting a positive mindset early in the innings.
“(Marsh) was the same a couple of years ago. He used to come out and just try and take time to get in, nick and nudge and knock the ball around,” Hussey said.
“Whereas in the last 12 months, he’s looked to come out and dominate from ball one, be confident and be positive with everything he does, and it’s paid dividends.
“(Green) is still trying to figure out what his best game looks like. He’s saying to himself, ‘I want to give myself time and get in,’ but if his mindset changed to, ‘You know what, bugger it, I’m going to go out there, I’m going to be confident and positive and just look to take it on,’ then that might kick him into gear a little bit earlier.
“I’ve seen him do that in T20 cricket when he played for the Mumbai Indians. He came out and was aggressive and played some brilliant innings for them.
“It’s going to take some time… he’s not a finished product just yet.”
Australia, currently third in the World Cup standings, will face England at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium on Saturday evening at 7.30pm AEDT.